The Patriots and Steelers are set for another heavyweight clash Sunday with AFC playoff seeding implications on the line, but Pittsburgh’s backup running back also has some beef to settle with his old team.
Stevan Ridley said the Patriots “trashed” him after he tore his ACL and MCL playing in the final year of his rookie contract for them in 2014.
“I was trashed after an injury,” Ridley told the Boston Herald. “I’m just going to put it that way. I’m not going to say specifically, but to be a starter for (the Patriots) for four years, to tear my ACL and never get a call back, that’s a tough pill to swallow.”
Since then, Ridley has spent time with seven different teams — including the Jets in 2015 — and rushed for only 265 yards. But he’s been waiting for another shot at the Patriots.
“I’m very open and I have to be real: I want this game more than any other game, man,” Ridley said. “That’s just the bottom line to it. And it’ll be that way from this year until I go in the grave. I’m just that kind of person.”
Since his departure, the Patriots have not had a steady long-term running back, which Ridley seems to believe he could have been for them.
“And now they’re still looking for a running back to try to come in and play — how many running backs have been through there to try to give them some consistency as a quote-unquote first or second down back?” Ridley said. “They’re still looking for it right now. Yeah, it’s very personal. It is.”
Plenty of carries opened up this season in Pittsburgh when Le’Veon Bell decided to hold out without a new contract, but James Conner earned the heavy share of them. Conner has since been injured, but now rookie Jaylen Samuels has emerged as the featured back.
Still, Ridley will be running with some extra motivation Sunday whenever he gets the ball.
“That’s my old team. [The departure] really hadn’t sat well, and I’m a competitor,” Ridley told Pittsburgh media Thursday. “I’m going to compete. To have the opportunity to be out there on the field, going against my old team, you can bet it. I’m fired up about it and I’m excited.”
I don't even know where to begin?
I guess... first off credit to Stevan Ridley for fighting to stay in the league the last few years? I mean power to the guy for hanging around. Seriously. They say the average NFL career is only 3.5 years, and considering Ridley has done next to nothing in the last 3.5 years all you can really say is "good for you, dude".
Since the Patriots let him go after the 2014 season Stevan Ridley has a grand total of 265 rushing yard, and still somehow gets to collect a paycheck. Which is absolutely wild to me. Like what are the Steelers even doing? There has to be some better options that have come out of college the last two years? One of Ridley's replacements in 2014; the famous one-game-wonder Jonas Gray rushed for more than that in a single game. With no value in the passing game or in special teams whatsoever; just an old shitty one dimensional running back, Ridley should be counting his lucky stars his NFL career has lasted this long.
The only guy Stevan Ridley has a right to be mad at.......... is Stevan Ridley.
Maybe it's time this guy looked himself in the mirror more than he already does, and take some responsibility for his actions? 11 fumbles during his time in New England, and the fact that he was already declining, in addition to a torn ACL is why he's gone. Kid Cudi simple as that. Patriots were never going to give him a second contract, even had he stayed healthy.
My favorite part of the article is how he says he was the starting running back for 4 years. LOL! Starting games in four different season is not the same thing as being a four-year starter. That's like me saying I've been to San Francisco because I had a lay-over in the airport once.
Any Patriot fan who pays attention knows that's not true at all. He had 87 carries as rookie in 2011; 29 of which came in the final three games of the year.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (who NEVER fumbled as a New England Patriot) was the starting running back in 2011.
Ridley missed most of 2014 to injury and lost his starting job to LeGarrette Blount in 2013. 2012 is the only season of Ridley's career when he was the full-time starter. To his credit Ridley was really good in 2012. He rushed for a dozen touchdowns and almost 1300 yards. But holding onto the ball was his biggest issue.
Saying he was the starting running back for four years just is a flat out lie, and this isn't like your uncle lying about high school football in 1974. We can find out with 12 seconds worth of research. If he's going to lie about that in an interview, then I wouldn't be shocked to see he's lying about the Patriots bashing him; especially since he gave zero examples of how.
Steven Ridley all things considered just isn't a very good running back and hasn't been in years. He's basically a one-year wonder who couldn't hold onto the football. That's why he's had minimal to no success since leaving Foxboro. Not because of anything the team may or may not have said.
I wouldn't be surprised to see him have a goal-line touchdown to try and "stick it" to the Pats this weekend but overall the Patriots are in a much better place without Ridley. I hope the Steelers try to use him a ton. If Steven Ridley is your key to a game in 2018, fucking go wild bro! It would be perfectly Mike Tomlin to give him a bunch of goal-line carries instead of getting it to a playmaker like A.B or juju.
Despite him saying they haven't had a true 1st and 2nd down back LaGarrette Blount rushed for 18 touchdowns and a 1000+ yards in 2016 ...so I don't know where he's getting those facts? Plus it's not 2003 anymore, a lot of good teams have shown the running back by committee formula to be superior. Unless you have a Todd Gurley or Saqaun Barkley type it makes sense to specialize the RB spot.
Most importantly, since Ridley's last carry with the team the Patriots have won two Super Bowls and played in another. I'd say they've also had at least 3 running backs who he couldn't hold a candle to in Blount, Lewis and White. But sure they need you and made a huge mistake letting you go. Enjoy being a part of a yearly tradition: the Patriots beating the Steelers.
P.S. Stevan Ridley name searches himself or has an app that like flags his name or something? Jesus dude, I'm a fat fake blogger with under 400 followers. Idk either way thanks for reading!